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Creating a sense of belonging through a connection with the environment.

A new modern build has the potential to sit displaced from the surrounding landscape as the site is cleared to make way for construction. Aesthetics and functional design are often the architect’s main focus, creating a beautiful home that’s made for living.

While a new garden is planted and hard landscaping is installed to complement the architecture and replace the bare ground, it can appear to sit inharmoniously against the natural landscape if not careful. Outdoor living spaces, play zones, and structures are incorporated into the design to cater for the occupant’s lifestyle needs. However, in creating a completely new landscape there can be a missing link to the very thing that defines the place.

Creating a sense of belonging

Finding that balance between the architecture and natural landscape is an integral component to the success of any built form. Respecting the site’s natural elements and using them to influence the design can help foster a sense of belonging.

This is exactly what New Zealand architects Pattersons Associates strive to achieve. Responding to the natural environment, Pattersons are driven to create residential buildings that “feel like they naturally ‘belong’”, which they hope will help the inhabitants foster a greater sense of belonging also.

Whether it’s through form, materials, aspect or a combination of all three, the architecture of Pattersons becomes one with the surrounding landscape. It connects the occupants back to the roots of what drove them to fall in love with the property in the first place.

Their contemporary forms are considered, creating a seamless connection with the outside. There’s a great sense of restraint in Pattersons’ designs, allowing for the beauty of the natural materials and the building’s form to take centre stage and make for a richer environment.

Here we share some imagery of inspiring residential projects designed by Pattersons Associates Architects which capture the essence of a site’s natural landscape.

Seascape Retreat

A romantic beachside cottage is set into a rock escarpment in a tiny boulder strewn South Pacific Cove.

Local Rock House

Its materiality and composition seeks to create a ‘sense of place in New Zealand’ for this family.

Pariho House

Positioned in a rugged landscape with sometimes harsh weather, this contemporary house nestles into the hillside with magnificent panoramic views of the coast.

Wanaka House

The home is totally invisible in a copse of trees, right up until you are there…

Scrubby Bay House

This is a robust farmhouse set as the centrepiece of a remote, symmetrical and thundering surf beach.

Architecture that allows the site’s surrounding natural landscape to inform its lines and materiality evokes great pleasure from the inhabits.  It is also helped when you have some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes to work with!

See more projects by Pattersons Associates Architects here.  You can also keep in touch with their work by liking their Instagram feed.